The Orioles traded left-handed reliever Tanner Scott and right-handed reliever Cole Sulser to the Miami Marlins. Several sources indicate that the Orioles will receive prospects Antonio Velez (Left-handed starter) and Kevin Guerrero (CF), a player to be named later, and the Marlins’ pick in Competitive Balance Round B (after 2nd round) of this summer’s amateur draft.
It’s hard to not like this trade from an Orioles perspective as they gain another left-handed starting pitching prospect in Velez who threw the ball well last year including three strong starts in AA at the end of the season. Velez was rated by Baseball America as having the best changeup and best control in the Marlins minor league system.
As a 25-years old who was signed as undrafted free agent in 2020, he looks long in the tooth to be a prospect, but he was rated as the 15th best senior pitching prospect going into his senior season at Florida State and only signed as a free agent due to the shortened 5 round COVID draft in 2020.
He reportedly has a low 90’s fastball so he’s not a high upside guy, but a left-hander with good control and a great changeup can make things interesting.
The other prospect named was Guerrero who was signed for 600K in the 2021 signing period by the Marlins. He was not very impressive last year in his debut as a 17-year old in the Dominican Summer League slashing .260/.373/.298/.671 with just three doubles and a triple in 159 PAs, but did steal 13 bags and his plate discipline wasn’t terrible. At 6-foot-3 and just 165 pounds last year, the Orioles may believe he just needs to add strength to become interesting.
On top of it, the Orioles gained another draft pick getting the Marlins competitive balance round B selection which comes between the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Basically the Orioles received another 3rd round pick. There’s a player to be named later which could suggest that player is on the Marlins 40-mand roster and they may be trying to work something out so the Orioles won’t need to put him on their 40-man roster right away.
The other good news is that it appears the Orioles already had the replacements for Scott and Sulser in house. Off season waiver claim left-handed reliever Cionel Pérez has looked very good this spring and has been clocked as high as 98 MPH. Like Scott, Perez has struggled with his command but he’s got the ability miss bats and will be one of the Orioles main left-handed relievers this year. If his new found control this spring is any indication of what he’s bring to the mound this year, he’s going to be just find.
The Orioles have a multitude of right-handed relievers that can replace Sulser. Prospect Felix Bautista had been unhittable until he had his first bad spring performance today. Waiver wire pickers (Like Sulser was) Bryan Baker and Joey Krehbiel have looked good this spring and Mike Baumann has been throwing between 96-98 and the Orioles may want to see what he looks like in the pen.
I like this trade overall. It doesn’t really weaken the team this year, opens up two 40-man spots that they needed, and adds depth to a deep farm system.